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The story of the cover of Yonder and the little girl statue

For my first post I decided on telling the story behind the cover. In the beginning process of Yonder coming together I asked my cover guys at Bookbaby for a very specific design. I wanted a girl, around 14, standing at the end of a dock to a small lake, with wavy brown hair in a purple party dress from the 1930s. My reason being that this is a very important scene in Isabel's life and I thought if we could only see her from the back it would spark curiosity and the emotions she was going through... They got back to me with the complaint that I was too detailed and they probably could not find the dress I was looking for. Crushed as I was, I realized that there was something in Yonder that was also very real - The statue. Although it is mentioned briefly. I was talking about this statue the entire time, but where did she come?

Well, She once belonged to my Grandmother, who was the whole inspiration behind Yonder (Isabel even shares her last name). My Grandmother grew up in Mississippi. She was Southern through and through with phrases like "I declare!" or "I Swanee!" When my Grandfather was going through World War 11 she sent him a lot of letters, even though she was not fond of writing. My Grandfather in return kept every single one of them and carried them in his black bag as he moved from base to base. I am now the one who owns these letters and they are down right charming! Imagine my surprise when I started at the very beginning (judging by the postmarks) and the very first letter to him was her answer to his marriage proposal! She had wonderful phrases like: "Are you sure? Sometimes I talk in my sleep and I get awful mad."

My Grandfather later bought her this statue. She kept it in her backyard with mint planted all around and her tomato plants near. It was there the entire time I was growing up.

Funny that it wasn't my first thought for the cover of Yonder but mysterious ways lead me to the only cover this book should have. So when you see Isabel walking through the garden and coming across this little sweet girl, now you know where she came from and what I was seeing and feeling in my heart.

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